The History of Freemasonry

Freemasonry has enjoyed a long and prestigious history with many notable events and famous individuals as members. Here are some of the highlights:

18th Century

1717   Grand Lodge convened. Anthony Sayer becomes Grand Master. 'First Assembly' of the Grand Lodge, 24 June.
1723   Book of Constitutions published.
Secretary to Grand Lodge first appointed.
1729   Grand Stewards first appointed.
1730   Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master, presented sword of Gustavus Adolphus to Grand Lodge.
1751   Atholl or Ancient Grand Lodge formed.
1765   HRH Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of York and Albany, initiated, 27 July.
1766   HRH Prince William Henry, 1st Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, initiated, passed and raised, 16 February.
1767   HRH Prince Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn, initiated, passed and raised, 16 February. Charter of Compact under which the Grand Chapter was constituted, signed 22 July.
1771   3rd Duke of Atholl installed Grand Master, Antient Grand Lodge.
1773   Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London committee appointed.
1775   Freemasons' Hall foundation stone laid.
1776   Freemasons' Hall dedicated.
1782   HRH Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn elected Grand Master.
1786   HRH Prince William Henry (later King William IV) initiated 9 March.
1787   HRH George, Prince of Wales (afterwards Prince Regent and George IV) initiated, 6 February.
1788   Royal Masonic Institution for Girls founded.
1789   HRH Prince Edward Augustus (later Duke of Kent and Strathearn), initiated 5 August.
1791   HRH Prince George, Prince of Wales (later Prince Regent and George IV), installed as Grand Master, May.
1793   HRH Prince William Frederick (later 2nd Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh), initiated 12 May.
1796   HRH Prince Ernest Augustus (later Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale and King Ernest I of Hanover), initiated 11 May.
1798   HRH Prince Augustus Frederick (afterwards Duke of Sussex), initiated 20 December. Royal Masonic Institution for Boys founded.

19th Century

1813   HRH Duke of Kent elected Grand Master. HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, elected Grand Master of the Atholl or Antients Grand Lodge. Both Grand Masters signed the Articles of Union on 25 November, subsequently ratified by each constitution on 1 December. Both signed the Warrant of the Lodge of Reconciliation on 7 December. HRH Duke of Sussex elected Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, 27 December.
1814   HRH Duke of Sussex installed as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, 2 May.
1815   Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge published.
1817   Union of the Grand Chapter with Antient Royal Arch Masons, 18 March.
1830   Charity Jewel instituted. William IV became Grand Patron.
1842   Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution founded.
1843   Duke of Sussex died. Fund in his memory started in his memory and devoted to the Royal Free Hospital, Gray's Inn Road, London.
1852   Queen Victoria became patroness of the Masonic Boys' School.
1868   HRH Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), initiated in Sweden, 21 December.
1874   HRH Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), elected Grand Master.
1875   HRH the Prince of Wales installed at the Royal Albert Hall as Grand Master, 28 April.
1880   Foundation stone of Truro Cathedral laid by the Prince of Wales, Grand Master.
1882   Queen Victoria became Chief Patroness of the Masonic Girls' School.
1885   HRH Prince Albert Victor (later Duke of Clarence and Avondale), initiated 21 March.

20th Century

1910   George V became Grand Patron of the three Masonic institutions.
Queen Mary became Grand Patroness and Queen Alexandra Chief Patroness of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls.
1917   Bi-centenary of the United Grand Lodge of England.
1919   HRH Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII and then Duke of Windsor), initiated 2 May.
HRH Prince Albert, (later Duke of York and George VI), Initiated, 21 December.
Appeal for a Masonic Peace Memorial and subsequent Establishment of the Masonic Million Memorial Fund.
1921   Hall Stone Lodge Medals first conferred, 7 December.
1927   Foundation stone of Peace Memorial Building at Great Queen Street laid (by electrical connection) in the Royal Albert Hall.
1928   HRH Prince George (later Duke of Kent), initiated 12 April. 1933 George V, accompanied by Queen Mary, opened the new Freemasons' Hospital and Nursing Home, later named, by Royal authority, the Royal Masonic Hospital.
1934   Visit to the Masonic Peace Memorial by George V and Queen Mary.
1937   George VI invested as Past Grand Master at the Royal Albert Hall.
1939   HRH Duke of Kent installed as Grand Master by George VI, at Olympia, 19 July.
1942   HRH Duke of Kent killed on active service, 25 August.
1943   Earl of Harewood installed as Grand Master by George VI, at Freemasons' Hall, London.
1953   HRH Duke of Edinburgh initiated, 5 December.
1963   HRH Duke of Kent initiated, 16 December.
1966   Bi-Centenary of Supreme Grand Chapter.
1967   HRH Duke of Kent elected Grand Master.
250th anniversary of United Grand Lodge of England.
Trust fund set up for surgical research under the direction of the Royal College of Surgeons.
1974   HRH Prince Michael of Kent initiated, 13 March.
1975   Masonic Housing Association registered as an exempt charity.
1980   Grand Charity established.
1986   Physical penalties removed from Obligations, 11 June.
1990   New Masonic Samaritan Fund established.
1992   275th anniversary of Grand Lodge held at Earls Court.